This week marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. military strike against Libya. On April 14, 1986, President Ronald Reagan ordered the U.S. Air Force to attack military targets in Libya in response to Libyan involvement in a terrorist attack on a West Berlin disco which killed two U.S. servicemen.
In a nationally televised address after the strike, Reagan declared, "Today we have done what we had to do. If necessary, we shall do it again." He described Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi's record of terrorism and subversion in Africa. He acknowledged that he bore no grudge against ordinary Libyans, "decent people caught in the grip of a tyrant."
Two decades later, little has changed. Qadhafi continues to support terrorism. While he sought Western grace for ransoming kidnapped hostages in March 2000, the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group then used the $25 million to amplify its terrorism. According to U.S. Pacific Command, "Speedboats used in other kidnappings were allegedly bought with the money, as was a rocket launcher that killed an army captain in pursuit of the fugitives." On March 23, 2006, Qadhafi feted Hamas political leader Khalid Mishaal in Tripoli. The Libyan strongman promised to fund Hamas, even as Mishaal pledges more terrorism.
Qadhafi likewise continues his subversion in Africa. Today, former Liberian President Charles Taylor awaits trial in the Hague for crimes against humanity for his role in the Sierra Leone civil war. The Special Court for Sierra Leone issued its charges on June 4, 2003. Its indictment is instructive: "Taylor received military training in Libya from representatives of the Government of Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. While in Libya the accused met and made common cause with [Sierra Leonean rebel leader] Foday Saybana Sankoh." Qadhafi's facilitation of the meeting contributed to the loss of as many as 75,000 civilians lives in the civil war that ravaged Sierra Leone.
Unfortunately for Africans, such behavior is the rule rather than the exception. Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 9, 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell declared, "Genocide has been committed in Darfur." Yet according to a January 30, 2006, U.N. Security Council report, the Libyan government continues to send weapons to Darfur in violation of the arms embargo. Libyan fighters have joined the militias. In July 2005, one faction "received 35 Land Cruiser vehicles from someone in one of the Libyan security services." As in the Philippines, so too in Sudan. Diplomatic spin might change, but Qadhafi's behavior does not.
Iran's Islamic authorities are preparing a crackdown on women flouting the stringent dress code in the clearest sign yet of social and political repression under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
From today police in Tehran will be under orders to arrest women failing to conform to the regime's definition of Islamic morals by wearing loose-fitting hijab, or headscarves, tight jackets and shortened trousers exposing skin.
LONDON, April 20 (IranMania) - Trainee imams at an Islamic school in London with links to Iran told a British newspaper Thursday they are being taught fundamentalist texts that describe non-Muslims as "filth".
The medieval doctrines are taught at the Hawza Ilmiyya of London, a religious school, which is in the same building as the Islamic College for Advanced Studies (ICAS), a sister institution, The Times reported.
The two colleges share many of the same staff.
The Muslim students, who spoke to the daily on condition of anonymity, study their religious courses alongside a degree course in Islamic studies at ICAS, which is backed by Middlesex University, AFP noted.
Their spokesman said the highlighted text, written by 13th century scholar Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, was just one of a number of books that some students found "disturbing" and "very worrying", according to The Times.
"They are being exposed to very literalist interpretations of the Koran. These are interpretations that would not be recognised by 80 or 90% of Muslims, but they are being taught this at school," he told the daily.
"A lot of people in the Muslim community are very concerned about this. We need to urgently re-examine the kind of material that is being taught here and in other colleges in Britain," the spokesman said.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which maintained it had no plans for expansion, is now changing course. Mongolia, Iran, India and Pakistan, which previously had observer status, will become full members. SCO's decision to welcome Iran into its fold constitutes a political statement. Conceivably, SCO would now proceed to adopt a common position on the Iran nuclear issue at its summit meeting June 15.
Speaking in Beijing as recently as January 16, the organization's secretary general Zhang Deguang had been quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying: "Absorbing new member states needs a legal basis, yet the SCO has no rules concerning the issue. Therefore, there is no need for some Western countries to worry
whether India, Iran or other countries would become new members."
The SCO, an Intergovernmental organization whose working languages are Chinese and Russian, was founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001 by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The SCO's change of heart appears set to involve the organization in Iran's nuclear battle and other ongoing regional issues with the United States.
Visiting Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mohammadi told Itar-TASS in Moscow that the membership expansion "could make the world more fair". And he spoke of building an Iran-Russia "gas-and-oil arc" by coordinating their activities as energy producing countries. Mohammadi also touched on Iran's intention to raise the issue of his country's nuclear program and its expectations of securing SCO support.
The timing of the SCO decision appears to be significant. By the end of April the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to report to the United Nations Security Council in New York regarding Iran's compliance with the IAEA resolutions and the Security Council's presidential statement, which stresses the importance of Iran "reestablishing full, sustained suspension of uranium-enrichment activities".
The SCO membership is therefore a lifeline for Iran in political and economic terms. The SCO is not a military bloc but is nonetheless a security organization committed to countering terrorism, religious extremism and separatism. SCO membership would debunk the US propaganda about Iran being part of an "axis of evil".
ISRAEL has warned the United Nations that a new "axis of terror" - Iran, Syria and the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority - is sowing the seeds of a new world war.If it's a declaration of war, then why is Israel sitting on its hands? Remember when the IAF buzzed Baby Assad's palaces? Time to demolish them, and Ahmadinejad's residence as well.
[antisemitic bullshit snipped]
Recent statements by the Palestinian government, Iran and Syria, including one by Hamas on Monday defending the suicide bombing, "are clear declarations of war, and I urge each and every one of you to listen carefully and take them at face value," said Israel's ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman.
"A dark cloud is looming above our region, and it is metastasising as a result of the statements and actions by leaders of Iran, Syria, and the newly elected government of the Palestinian Authority," he said.